BACKGROUND: Admission to a hospital is often related with hospital-associated disabilities. Improving physical activity during hospitalization is considered effective to counteract hospital-associated disabilities, whereas many studies report on very low physical activity levels. Gradually developing and implementing interventions in cocreation with patients and health care professionals rather than implementing predefined interventions may be more effective in creating sustainable changes in everyday clinical practice. However, no studies have reported on the use of cocreation in the development and implementation of interventions aimed at improving physical activity.
OBJECTIVE: This protocol presents a study that aims to investigate if interventions, which will be developed and implemented in cocreation, improve physical activity among patients in surgery, internal medicine, and cardiology hospital wards. The secondary aims are to investigate effectiveness in terms of the reduction in the time patients spend in bed, the length of hospital stay, and the proportion of patients going home after discharge.
METHODS: The Better By Moving study takes place for 12 months at the following five different wards of a university hospital: two gastrointestinal and oncology surgery wards, one internal medicine hematology ward, one internal medicine infectious diseases ward, and one cardiology ward. The step-by-step implementation model of Grol and Wensing is used, and all interventions are developed and implemented in cocreation with health care professionals and patients. Outcome evaluation is performed across the different hospital wards and for each hospital ward individually. The primary outcome is the amount of physical activity in minutes assessed with the Physical Activity Monitor AM400 accelerometer in two individual groups of patients (preimplementation [n=110], and 13 months after the start of the implementation [n=110]). The secondary outcomes are time spent in bed measured using behavioral mapping protocols, and length of stay and discharge destination assessed using organizational data. A process evaluation using semistructured interviews and surveys is adopted to evaluate the implementation, mechanisms of impact, context, and perceived barriers and enablers.
RESULTS: This study is ongoing. The first participant was enrolled in January 2018. The last outcome evaluation and process evaluation are planned for May and June 2020, respectively. Results are expected in April 2021.
CONCLUSIONS: This study will provide information about the effectiveness of developing and implementing interventions in cocreation with regard to improving physical activity in different subgroups of hospitalized patients in a university hospital. By following step-by-step implementation and by performing process evaluation, we will identify the barriers and enablers for implementation and describe the effect of new interventions on improving physical activity among hospitalized patients.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Register NL8480; https://www.trialregister.nl/trial/8480.
INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/19000.